Carefully Cultivated Chrysanthemums

Last weekend, I visited the New York Botanical Gardens to see their special chrysanthemum display: Kiku. Kiku (chrysanthemum in Japanese) has a centuries-long history and cultural significance in Japan. Symbolic of longevity and rejuvenation, it is used as The Imperial Seal of Japan as well as over a hundred different Japanese seals for royal family members, Shinto Shrines, and official government documents. It is one of the most highly anticipated fall blooms of the year.

Chrysanthemums are a horticultural passion, requiring precision, care, and patience. NYBG experts spent hours over the course of a year meticulously training the plants into modern and ancient forms, including bonsai, Kengai (“Cascade”), and Ozukiri (“Thousand Bloom”).

Get a behind the scenes look of the NYBG horticulturists tying the Ozukiri below. Crafted from a single plant, this chrysanthemum was carefully nurtured and coaxed into this huge arrangement:

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By Cindy